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SoulScribbler Jul 19th, 2014 07:11 PM

Looking For Something New Around The Bay Area!
Hello everyone! Me and my wife are avid Californian travelers. We live in the East Bay Area. What I'm actually looking for is advice for "little known things" to do in and around the Bay Area that you'd like to share.

Two different types of things I'm looking for, the first is simply day trips, places within 2 hours or so. Good food, cool spots to just hang out, etc.

The second would be over night (1-2) little getaways...I wouldn't mind driving a bit further, but no more than 3-4 hours.

I'll share some of our favorites here, as well...

Napa, of course, is amazing. Big Sur is a great place to go. We often times stay in Carmel and take a drive down 1 just for the heck of it. Speaking of Carmel, more than once we've drove there just for dinner, Dametra cafe is an amazing place to eat! Of course there is Half Moon Bay for times where we just wanted a quick beach trip (went last weekend!).

I'll stop there for now, but might be kind of fun to "trade" cool spots around the bay!

toncasmo Jul 19th, 2014 09:46 PM

Point Reyes area, tomales bay, olema...such a beautiful and interesting area
From Sac we have driven to Tiburon for drinks and dinner!

wekewoody Jul 20th, 2014 01:47 AM

The Cantor Center for the Arts on the Stanford campus is a fantastic museum with a great Rodin sculpture garden and some other notable outdoor works. Walking around campus and exploring is fun. There are some great restaurants nearby for lunch or dinner.

The Stanford Theater in downtown Palo Alto puts on classic movie series that are lots of fun. Dinner downtown before or after.

MichelleY Jul 20th, 2014 08:26 AM

Check out the Delta. Maybe go over to Rio Vista. Ride the ferry over to Ryer Island then head over to Walnut Grove and Locke. For lunch or dinner, I like Guisti's. Not foodie food, but good and popular. If you head up river further, you will find wine tasting in the Clarksburg AVA. Bogle and wineries at the Old Sugar Mill.

This place was featured in the Bee. Looks interesting:

MichelleY Jul 20th, 2014 09:14 AM

Here is a place I would like to check out. In the 1970's this place was old and broken down. Sounds like it has come a long way.

DebitNM Jul 20th, 2014 09:15 AM

If you haven't done these; they are most definitely worth a look see. Many tours to fit many tastes, you may just learn something new about your 'hood!

we have done over 2 dozen of them and with the exception of one, they have been great.

Bobmrg Jul 20th, 2014 09:20 AM

How about the Jelly Belly factory tour in Suisun City.

toncasmo Jul 20th, 2014 09:44 AM

Waterfront area in Suisun is nice. Delta area is great suggestion

Tabernash2 Jul 20th, 2014 09:51 AM

I agree with Point Reyes and Inverness. Also Mt Tam, and Golden Gate National Recreation Area.

wekewoody Jul 20th, 2014 10:49 AM

Last year we spent a few night in San Francisco at the Presidio Inn. The Presidio, part of the already mentioned GGNRA would be a great day destination in itself. I really like the ocean side trails above and north of Baker Beach. There are lovely views of the Marin Headlands and of the Golden Gate Bridge.

On another day we roamed around the trails near the old Sutro Baths area where there is now an information center, parking and bathrooms.

NewbE Jul 20th, 2014 11:56 AM

We spent some time in Boonvile and Mendocino recently and loved it--definitely in the category of a short overnight trip for you. Wineries, good food, hiking in redwoods and along the coast...I'd go back any time!

utahtea Jul 20th, 2014 01:31 PM

Calaveras Big Trees State Park just 5 miles outside of Arnold, CA would make for a nice one or two night trip. You can check out Angels Camp and Murphy's too.


wekewoody Jul 20th, 2014 04:03 PM

We like a two night minimum getaway up at The Sea Ranch on the Sonoma coast just south of Gualala. Spring and Fall are my favorite times there.

If you're in the area in May, a visit to the Kruse Rhodendron Reserve south of Sea Ranch is jaw dropping, especially if the plants are in full bloom.

Stopping at the many State Beaches between Bodega Bay and Jenner is a great way to spend a day either as a day trip or en route north.

utahtea Jul 20th, 2014 05:14 PM

I'll second Sea Ranch! :)


Shar Jul 20th, 2014 06:55 PM

buy yourself the San Francisco Stairway Walks book and explore some very interesting areas in the City. We have done every walk in the book and loved it and my husband is a native san Franciscan. Some areas he had never been to. Sea ranch and anywhere on the Mendo coast is great. You might want to consider an Overnight in Capitola - charming beach town.

janisj Jul 20th, 2014 08:02 PM

The wine areas in Amador County the Delta and in Calaveras county.

Hwy 49 south of Hwy 50 (vineyards, caverns, Columbia, gold rush era towns - and in early spring - Daffodil Hill)

Hwy 49 north of hwy 50 (more gold rush towns, Coloma Gold Discover site - and in Fall -- Apple Hill)

Sacramento - don't laugh ;) A huge micro/craft brewery movement, lots and LOTS of wonderful restaurants, the State Railroad museum.

KTtravel Jul 20th, 2014 08:31 PM

We just got back from a weekend away near the Russian River area. We stayed at a B & B in Occidental and enjoyed visiting some of the little towns, strolling through a redwood grove, wine tasting, and beautiful drives.

NorCalif Jul 22nd, 2014 10:11 AM

Here are a few day trips:

1) Drive to Petaluma, wander around a little there if you want, along the river. Then head out Bodega Highway towards the coast. Be sure to stop at the Wild Flour Bread bakery in Freestone.
Continue on in to Occidental - you can eat lunch at one of several places with outside patios. Then head up Coleman Valley Road over to the coast. A beautiful drive up through redwoods to the crest of the Coastal range- great views of ridges to the north and south. At the top you may share the road with cows wandering around. Then drop down to the coast. The drive on Coleman Valley Road is only about 15 miles or so from Occidental to the coast.

When you reach the coast you can head north to Jenner and then go east on 116 along the Russian River and back to 101 or you can head south on Highway 1 through Bodega Bay, Tomales, Olema, etc. all the way south to Stinson Beach if you wish.

2) Go to Mt. Tam - park at the Pan Toll parking lot and hike or bike up to West Point Inn (about 2 miles as I recall.)
An old 1904 inn, with incredible views and a front porch great for lounging around.
Come back down and then either hike or drive down to Stinson Beach.

3) Head to Sonoma (the town) stopping at the di Rosa, in the Carneros region of Napa - an eclectic art collection housed in an old winery estate. Beautiful grounds, peacocks wandering around, a small lake, old house the vintner used to live in. Really fun.

4) Go to Burke's canoes in Forestville and rent a canoe/kayak for a lazy float along the Russian River.

mlgb Jul 22nd, 2014 10:37 AM

The beaches around San Gregorio State Beach, Pescadero, go see the elephant seals at Año Nuevo. Stop at Duarte's for the 50/50 soup.

sunbum1944 Jul 22nd, 2014 04:30 PM

Kayak at Moss Landing - followed by dinner at Phil's Fish Market

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